Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a handbook for healthy eating and exercise that you could easily commit to memory?! It would be like having your very own Coach hanging out inside your brain, cheering you on the weight loss road to success!
If you’re a businesswoman like I am, life is already busy!
Throw in a couple of kids, a full-time job, a few girlfriends (and, oh, don’t forget your partner) and before you know it, the last thing you’re thinking about is how to zero in on healthy eating and exercise!
It’s not that you don’t want to look and feel your best, you are a professional after all, it’s that you scarcely have time…and let’s face it, time is a premium in your busy world!
So, what’s a girl to do???
The Busy Woman’s Guide To Healthy Eating And Exercise:
- Identify your priorities: It might sound overly simplistic, but identifying your priorities is key when it comes to adding to your already busy routine. If eating healthy or exercising is going to take away from things that are more important to you (like spending time with your spouse or being able to drive your kids to soccer practice), you’re less likely to stick to them for the long haul.
Think of your time as a jar filled with rocks, pebbles and sand, and the items you put in the jar, as things in your life that matter to YOU. (Interested in learning more? Check out this book on Amazon)! Rocks are the things that “anchor” us in life—they’re the non-negotiables. Things such as “time with family”, “making a living”, “enjoying good health”, “cultivating meaningful relationships”. Pebbles are things that bring us fulfillment and round out who we are, but when life gets tough, they’re negotiable: Being the best salesperson on your team, training for a Color Run, spending time hiking, volunteering in your community. Sand is anything “extra”—if it happens, it happens, but it doesn’t pay the bills and it’s not critical to your life, nor does it matter in terms of who you are as a person. These are things like: “Girl’s night out”, catching up on Facebook, or binge-watching The Bachelor, but in the grand scheme of things they are not a dealbreaker!
How your particular jar is layered is going to look different for everyone, but if you fill your jar with too much sand first, the rocks and pebbles won’t all fit.
- Ask yourself “why”: As a Precision Nutrition Certified Coach, this is an exercise that I use frequently with my private Coaching Clients to find their “compelling reason” for seeking me out in the first place. It’s referred to as, “The 5 Whys. Pretend for a moment that I’m your 4-year-old child (anyone reading this who has a 4-year-old–or remembers parenting their older children through this stage–can definitely relate)! Four-year-old children are notorious for asking “WHY”?!
Does this sound familiar? “Mommy, why are dogs furry?” “Honey, dogs are furry because fur keeps their bodies warm.” “Mommy, why does fur keep their bodies warm?” ” Well, honey, because fur holds in heat.” “Mommy, why does fur hold in heat?” “Oh honey, fur holds in the heat on dogs, just like your hair keeps your head warm–just like wearing a jacket when it’s cold outside.” “Mommy, why does hair keep your head warm?” “HONEY! GO ASK YOUR DADDY!”
I want to eat healthier and start exercising more!!! (Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?) *Ask yourself the five “whys”*
“Why do you want to eat healthier and exercise more?”
Because I want to lose weight and have more energy.
“Why do you want to lose weight and have more energy?”
Because if I lose weight and have more energy, I’ll look better and feel better.
“Why do you want to look better and feel better?”
Because when I look better and feel better, I’ll feel more attractive.
“Why do you want to feel more attractive?”
Because when I feel more attractive, I’m more confident and assertive.
“Why do you want to be more confident and assertive?”
I want to be more confident and assertive because when we were dating, my husband said that’s what attracted him to me. My relationship has been on the rocks for a while now and I’m scared it’s going to end in divorce. I have to do something!
In this example, a fictitious Client is going through the “5 Whys” in order to get to the bottom of her desire to change her eating and exercise habits. However, in your own “5 Whys” exercise, it might take a little more exploration until you find your own reason.
Get real with yourself and be really honest. You might be surprised at what you uncover!
- Keep a diary: This part of the process might seem like a waste of time, but don’t skip it! The schedule that you currently keep reflects how you prioritize the activities in your life. Tracking what you already do will help you determine if your current actions or habits are consistent with your goals and values (and if they’re not, where you need to make improvements)! Track your time in 15-minute increments.
If your diary reads:
- 7:00 a.m. hit the snooze button
- 7:15 a.m. hit the snooze button again
- 7:30 a.m. checked FB while laying in bed
- 7:45 a.m. still on FB, “Uggh I’m so tired!”
- 8:00 a.m. got out of bed to make coffee while posting on FB
. . .
Then you’ve got room in your life to work on reaching your goals…
Ask yourself, without passing judgment —-> (I’m too lazy! I can’t do anything right! I’m such a loser!) <—This is judgy ladies! whether or not your schedule currently reflects your priorities. If the answer is “not quite”, then you can begin to align your schedule with activities that do.
- Incorporate healthy eating or exercise-related activities into your day: Those fifteen minutes you spent in bed pushing the snooze-button? Challenge yourself to get up the first time your alarm goes off! Those fifteen minutes you spent scrolling through Facebook? Get up and head into the kitchen to make yourself a healthy lunch! Or better yet, evaluate your sleep! Maybe you need to set your alarm for a later time? The same holds true for your nighttime routine. Imagine how many extra “15-minute blocks” of time you may be mindlessly using, in any given day, that could be used for things like meal prep or exercise?
- Create habits which free up even more time: Want to eat healthier or have more time for exercise? Time-saving hacks are just some of the ways you can foster an environment that encourages healthy change.
Some easy ones are:
- Keeping frozen berries pre-measured in the freezer for quick, easy, smoothies on-the-go.
- Keeping a gym bag packed and ready to go, or laying out your workout clothes before you go to bed
- Spending a little extra money on pre-cut veggies and salads to save time in the kitchen
- Reducing the number of “treats” in your home and keeping fresh fruits within easy reach instead
- Going for walks after dinner as a family, as a way to exercise and spend time with the kids
- Joining a gym near your office and working out during lunch or, first thing in the morning, before work
- Leaving weights or bands out for quick, easy workouts
- Preparing “extra” meat when making dinner and using it on top of salads for lunch the next day (It’s a great way to save money too)!
- Put it on the schedule: If you really want to make eating healthier, or making time for exercise a priority, you have to schedule it into your day. Telling yourself that you’ll do it isn’t enough, particularly if you struggle to follow through. Finding a class with a regular time that fits your schedule, asking a friend to be your accountability partner, hiring a Coach or Trainer, asking your Spouse or significant other to help you out, are all ways to hold yourself to your schedule…then, put it on the calendar! This is something that I started doing seven (7) years ago and continue to do, even with my Private Coaching Business. I schedule doctor/dental appointments, school conferences, Client coaching calls and even travel around my workout schedule, so that the only excuses I have for not working out, are the “big rock” ones!
- Review, Revise, Revamp: In a perfect world, everything you do is executed flawlessly and without effort… and everything you touch turns to gold…the kids don’t talk back, they love everything you cook, and they always pick up after themselves…HA! (you’re also never late, never run out of mints when you have coffee breath, and never accidentally forget to pick up your dry-cleaning for those days when the Boss schedules weekly meetings)!
But this ain’t no Cinderella Story, this is real life!
- Kid’s get sick
- Husband’s forget
- Traffic sucks
- Work runs late
- Banana (I just threw that in there to see if you were paying attention) 😉
At the end of each week, check in with yourself to see how you did with utilizing your time to work toward your healthy eating or exercise goals.
If you achieved your objectives, give yourself a HIGH FIVE!
If not, it’s time to examine what went wrong and figure out what you can improve upon your efforts next time.
[click_to_tweet tweet=”Remember, it’s not perfection that helps you achieve your goals, it’s doing small things, consistently. ~Trish Marmo, Fitness MOMents” quote=”Remember, it’s not perfection that helps you achieve your goals, it’s doing small things, consistently. ~Trish Marmo, Fitness MOMents” theme=”style3″]
Small, consistent, steps, each day, are what get you further down the road to success.
Be objective about how or where you spend your time.
Do you focus too much on “low-priority” stuff (i.e., filling your jar with too much “sand”)? If so, then…
- Watch T.V. while prepping food
- Scroll Facebook while walking on the treadmill
- Hire a Coach for accountability
Did a “high-priority” focus derail your efforts? (i.e., the “big rocks” warranted your attention)? If so, then…
- That’s okay! Life Happens! Remember, perfection is not the goal here!
- If it happens often, however, it’s time to reevaluate:
- Ask for help (hire a sitter, sign up for a meal delivery service)
- Combine tasks (have family help with meal prep, go for a walk with your family after dinner)
- Hire a Coach to help put a system in place and help you identify realistic goals
Eating healthy and exercising is just one of the many factors that come into play when it comes to losing weight, improving your energy levels and living a healthy lifestyle. By examining and setting your priorities, you can ensure that you’ll not only set goals, you’ll achieve them. For a quick, easy, reference, download this FREE PDF and get started TODAY!
Founder and Creator of Fitness MOMents® LLC
Trish Marmo is on a one-woman mission to help busy women over 40 “wake up” to becoming their best selves and reclaim their health and fitness! If you’ve woken up to the fact that what you’ve been doing isn’t working anymore more, or you don’t recognize the person you see staring back at you in the mirror, then let’s talk! Schedule a Breakthrough Session here or learn more about how I can help you here!